Social media is becoming a very influential referrer. Website like Facebook and Twitter generate growing amounts of traffic websites. They work best for the live web (news) and for memes. And they are in the race to become serious competition for Google in getting the right people on the right page.
Social media (Twitter/Facebook) is the new Google (making the web more useful with its service). It doesn’t care about page rank. It cares about what people think and how trustworthy and influential people are.
Google and Twitter are very different in a number of ways.
- Longer URL, the longer the better
- Getting bigger websites to link to your website
- Know and find
- Ranking content
- The best of time
- Short URL, an URL is waste of space
- Getting influential online people to talk about your website
- Follow and discover
- Ranking people
- The best of now
What does this mean for news reporting?
The major news websites and publication systems weren’t really designed for SEO. They are still catching up, far behind the current technological state blogs are in.
While media and journalist are still blaming Google the second disrupting innovation for their Industry is already taking place. And this time they won’t be able to blaim a company.
What about the editors? Google was about systems, about technology. The current wave of social media is about people. Are the news editors – the current and a new generation – ready?
A news organization in a social media environment doesn’t have to create content, it creates context around links. It directs you. That’s the function of a news organization. Guide you as a customer to the best information you can find. Sometimes this mean (re)writing a summary or story, other times it means linking to other good stuff.
It’s also about value. If you – as a content creator – are not adding much to what’s already out there you can’t expect to have a sustainable business model. If you don’t add much, you won’t get much.
The link is the most important asset of the web. It is for Google and it is for Twitter. In a social media driven web it’s not about the content the link directs to. It’s about who presents the link. Linking builds trust. You have to earn this trust by linking to things that add value for your audience.
Jay Rosen, professor at NYU on the ethic of the link